Woman's Hour - 29/03/2010

Presented by Jane Garvey. Friday evening's Over the Rainbow on BBC 1 saw the start of Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for the next actress to play Dorothy in a theatre adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. But why does Dorothy's character continue to enchant us? More than one hundred years after she was created by the American author L. Frank Baum, Jane delves deep to find out what's behind her enduring appeal. In the last two weeks, the 'legal high' mephedrone has hit the headlines and has been linked to the deaths of three young people. The government's Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs is deciding whether mephedrone should be banned under the misuse of drugs act and it's due to submit its report to the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, today. We talk to drugs expert Mike Linnell and to Maryon Stewart whose daughter Hester died last year after taking the "legal high"GBL. The name of Pearl Buck was once known throughout the world as the author of an extraordinary and unexpected bestseller, "The Good Earth", which won the Pulitzer Prize and led to Buck becoming the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Hilary Spurling has just published a biographical account of Pearl's years in China, "Burying the Bones" which is this week's "Book of the Week"; Anchee Min's novel, "Pearl of China", which imagines Pearl's life and invents a friend for her. They join Jane to discuss why this great writer has been forgotten. With the wedding list season approaching, the growing popularity of "wish lists", donations made to charity in one's name, and some people even telling their family and friends what they want as a present, has the simple pleasure gone out of gift giving? To discuss the issues, Jane is joined by the broadcaster and writer Shyama Perera and the journalist Tanya Gold, who has been known to come out in a rage at even the sight of a wedding list!


  • 2010-03-29 10:00:00 - 2010-03-29 10:45:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,